NEXT EVENT plots 2015 expansion

Ahead of the final rounds of the 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship this weekend at Brands Hatch, the team has confirmed that it is looking to enter a number of the TOCA support series, and if possible expand to a two-car BTCC team as well.

Having been one of the teams selected to receive a TOCA BTCC Licence (TBL) for the current season, the West Thurrock-based outfit has shown its potential on track with its new Ford Focus; most notably at Knockhill where Inverness racer Dave Newsham secured the team’s maiden podium finish.

On the back of the successful move up to an NGTC-spec car, and having scored its maiden podium in the BTCC this year at Knockhill, is now seeking to be expand its programme to two cars for the 2015 campaign.

While the team’s existing TBL will allow it to run one car again next year, a second car would be dependent on the team securing another licence.

“It was a big step for us to take on an NGTC programme this year but I feel that we have stepped up to the challenge,” said Team Boss Shaun Hollamby. “While things haven’t always gone our way, team manager Rob Tickner and the boys have raised their game to provide a car that has run quickly and reliably all season and that is something I feel immensely proud of.

“To get onto the podium, as we did at Knockhill after a great drive from Dave, was the icing on the cake and showed what we can do in what is arguably the most competitive touring car championship in the world.

“The logical next step is to expand our touring car programme to include a second car for 2015, and that is something that we are keen to do. Of course, that would be dependent on securing a second TBL alongside the one we already hold, but we have a burning desire to expand our involvement in the BTCC and if the opportunity arises, we are ready to grasp it with both hands.

“Before then, we will aim to end our current season on a high this weekend and we are hoping to score some strong points at our home circuit to head into the winter on a high. We know the car can do it and we know Dave can do it, so I’m optimistic about our chances.”

Alongside what it hopes will be an expanded touring car programme, can also today confirm that it plans to compete in two of the support series that run alongside the BTCC next year.

Having competed in the final three rounds of the Kick Energy Ginetta Junior Championship with rookie racer Esmee Hawkey, will increase its involvement in the series to run a multi-car programme, with sights set firmly on the championship title.

The expanded Ginetta entry, which will run as an Junior entry, will mark the first step on a ‘ladder programme’ for the team as it also embarks on its first foray into the Courier Connections Renault UK Clio Cup.

Here, plans to field a single-car entry to give it a presence in half of the championships that make up the TOCA programme.

“There is no doubt that these are exciting times for us at,” Shaun continued. “Regardless of how many touring cars we are able to run, we will expand our Ginetta team beyond the single car we have run for Esmee this year. Having spent much of the year testing alongside her karting commitments, she has produced some encouraging performances on track since making her debut at Rockingham and we believe she can do good things in the Rookie Class next year.

“Alongside that, we are keen to run one or two established drivers as part of a Junior team that will be linked into the touring car programme, and we are looking to challenge for the championship.

“It is also exciting for us to be moving into the Renault Clio Cup for the first time. The grid numbers are set to rise next year in what will be the second season for the new car, and we are seeking to speak to people who are interested in racing in the series – and going for the title – in 2015.

“You only have to look at the drivers who have come through Clios, including Dave and our former driver Tom Onslow-Cole, to see that it is a real proving ground for people looking to make it into touring cars.

“Our plans are all down to the fact that the BTCC package is the strongest there is in UK motorsport, and there is no better place for us to showcase what can do.”


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